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The Association of Societies for Social Gerontology of Slovenia
Partizanska cesta 12
2000 Maribor

BU Gregorčičeva 20,
5270 Ajdovščina

BU Ljubljanska cesta 58,
1230 Domžale

Email:
zveza@skupine.si

Self-Help Groups

Elderly people self-help groups


The elderly people self-help group is a group of randomly collected individuals, which through regular gathering grows into a group of friend and functions on the basis of self-help motive. Each group is special and valuable, as is each individual, so it typically brings into its operation activities which are specifically appropriate for it.
A small group allows the transformation of the group into a group of friends, which acts preventive against social exclusion of elderly people.


roze na oknuThe characteristics of elderly people self-help groups:

  • A group has up to ten members, up to eight people aged over 65 years and two trained volunteers – group leaders;
  • It has regular meetings once per week at the same time in the same facilities;
  • The meetings last, on average, for an hour and a half per week;
  • Other activities (including visits to cultural events, walking …) are organizes outside of the regular meetings;
  • The main activity of the group is conversation that relates to the topics that the participants are interested in;
  • A culture of listening is nurtured, which is a prerequisite for in-depth conversation;
  • Each member of the group in the discussion shares and communicates his own life experiences, express his feeling, attitudes and opinions;
  • Discussion is based on communicating life experiences without moralizing, teaching or criticizing.

The Goal of the program:
The program aims to enable elderly people to maintain and re-enter the social network, which provides social inclusion, making new friendships, a sense of security and acceptance. This also allows greater integration of the individual in the community. That primary purpose has an unavoidable consequence of an explicit effort at the societal level to reduce and prevent isolation of elderly people and their lack of connections with young and middle generation, which is one of the main causes of personal loneliness and isolation of old people today.


fish netThe program allows to meet non-material needs for:
-    continuous and in-depth interpersonal relationship,
-    accept their own age as a condition for its meaningful experience,
-    integration of all three generations.

Effects:
•    solves the problem of loneliness,
•    diminishes social problems,
•    develops self-help, solidarity and helping one another,
•    expands their social network,
•    keeps them active,
•    preparing for old age,
•    encourages volunteer work,
•    encourages intergenerational cooperation and solidarity,
•    connects the public sector with the non-governmental sector,
•    enables the merging of professional and volunteer work,
•    prevents burnout of group leaders.


The project of self-help groups for the elderly is one of the largest in the area of meeting non- material needs of the elderly in Slovenia and is unique in Europe.
The project started on 5 March 1987 when the first group was founded in Izola by Tone Kladnik and Roberta Zerbo.

The group works on the principles of self-help and in accordance with the professional basis of the Association.
 

go to: Supervisor Training

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